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Original Cornerstone of the Gibbes Revealed


This post was originally published on our renovation blog in January 2015. All new renovation-related posts will be included on the Gibbes Museum blog.

1905 Masonic Ceremony for the Gibbes Museum of Art

The momentous Masonic ceremony, performed before a crowd of hundreds, was lost to history until 2005 when this photograph was brought to the museum by John Zacharias, great nephew to Harry T. Zacharias the contractor for the building. John found the photograph in his aunt’s house in Delaware and brought it to the Gibbes on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Gibbes opening.

Gibbes Museum Cornerstone

Contractors working on the renovation and expansion of the Gibbes Museum of Art on Meeting Street recently unearthed the building’s original cornerstone. First laid on December 8, 1903, in grand fashion by the Masons of Charleston, the cornerstone has been hidden from view for the last 111 years. According to newspaper articles from the date, a copper box containing a copy of James S. Gibbes last will and testament, 1902 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, the 1902 Year Book of the City of Charleston, a copy of the News and Courier for December 8, 1903; and medals and other memorabilia contributed by ceremony participants is sealed within the inscribed stone.

Published October 25, 2015

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